Dental overbites can occur in two ways, vertically or horizontally. A horizontal overbite refers to a situation where the lower incisors and canines protrude excessively. On the other hand, vertical overbites occur when the upper set of teeth overlap the lower teeth. Despite their differences, both types of dental overbites result from dental and skeletal (bone related) issues. It is important to treat overbites as early as possible to avoid adverse effects such as speech impairment. Here is a look at some of the treatment alternatives that will help you deal with this condition:
Invisalign is the most basic treatment therapy for dental overbites. In this method, the orthodontist prescribes a suitable set of transparent retainer aligners that will gradually shift your misaligned set of teeth back into their natural position. The aim of this device is to condition your teeth slowly by subjecting them to a certain amount of force that pushes them towards the desirable position. You will wear the aligners for around twenty-two hours a day and change them after every two weeks. Typically, the treatment takes around nine months. Note that Invisalign treats overbites that aren't overly severe by gradually shifting the position of the teeth. It doesn't work for overbites caused by misalignment of the jawbone.
Braces treat dental overbites in two stages. In the first stage, the orthodontist fastens metal brackets around your teeth and connects them with a metal wire to align them into position. Thereafter, the practitioner focuses on fixing the overbite by adding springs, coils and rubber bands to the braces. This helps to shift the jawline firmly into place. Note that treatment with this alternative can take anywhere between six months and two years depending on the severity of your overbite. One of the disadvantages of using braces is that it can compromise your dental hygiene. Invisalign is easy to remove so that you can brush and floss your teeth, which is not as easy when you are working with braces. This puts you at a higher risk of developing gum problems and tooth decay.
When you have a skeletal overbite, the problem lies in the jaw rather than the teeth. An orthodontist can thus perform surgery to align the jaw and make sure that no set of teeth will project over the other.
Note that overbites can also occur because of excess teeth on the jawbone, forcing some of them to project forward as they compete for limited space. In such a case, the orthodontist can carry out tooth extractions to remove the excess teeth and align the remaining ones using braces.